Anime Review: Yamada-Kun and the Seven Witches
Note: This review will have SPOILERS for the manga, so if you’re wanting to take the manga slow, check out my review of that instead.
Delinquent high school student Ryu Yamada and honor student Urara Shiraishi accidentally discover that they can switch bodies by kissing. Then it turns out that Yamada can also switch bodies with anyone else he kisses! Hilarity ensues, and then it’s learned that there are other “witches” with kissing-related powers. Can Yamada catch them all?
This twelve-episode comedy with romantic elements has many good points. It’s funny, has a bit of fanservice, and the voice actors clearly had a ball imitating each other’s vocal inflections to indicate when bodies have been swapped.
Kissing is something of a metaphor for connecting with other people. The initially isolated Yamada and Shiraishi must reach out to each other and their schoolmates to advance. This is made manifest when things get more serious towards the end of the series–connections are broken, and Yamada must mend them to bring about a happy ending.
The plot structure turns out to be “the seven school mysteries”, a common bit of superstition in Japanese schools. There are seven “mysteries” (urban legends) to learn or discover the truth behind, but if you know all seven, something (usually bad) will happen to you.
There’s a lot of kissing, including same-sex kissing, and some male-oriented fanservice, plus some slapstick violence. It should be okay for junior high viewers on up–younger viewers probably will tune out because of the mushy stuff.
More of an issue for the purist is that in order to fit in all seven witches in twelve episodes, the plot has been streamlined considerably, and some of the relationships feel rushed as a result. The ending has also been changed to make it definite, while the ongoing manga has continued with new plot arcs.
A short, enjoyable series for comedic romance fans.